When the global pandemic hit last March, the indie wrestling circuit suffered a tremendous blow as scores of independent wrestlers were left without work.
AEW star Danny Limelight can relate. In fact, his problems were aggravated because while trying to stay active through the pandemic, he was also trying to recover from a dislocated shoulder that he suffered back in December 2019. A week later, he was in a car wreck and the accident knocked his shoulder back into place. “I got my range and motion back and I’m back to the gym, trying to get back in the ring,” he recalls.
Just when Limelight started to gain momentum in the indie circuit, the pandemic hit. “I knew there and then that wrestling was probably going to be out for a while,” he says.
It was around this time when Limelight also finished up with Marines and did all the stunts for John Morrison’s upcoming film Speed of Time. “I was just doing wrestling, acting, and stunts full time,” says Limelight before noting that the movie is already doing well at film festivals.
Limelight then revealed how it was like to work with Morrison on the film set. “It was great to see him do all those stunts but John was just whooping my ass the whole film.”
The young wrestler tried to stay active during the early pandemic months, writing and producing his own show, and also doing school work. His idea was to “stay ready” to return the ring. It was around this time that NJPW called him and booked him in a match against TJP.
“I knew eventually wrestling was going to come back. I just didn’t know when. Fortunately, before I separated my shoulder, I had attended my New Japan trial. So when I got the call to make my debut, I was like, ‘this is my time, my moment. I’m ready to rock.’”
Limelight continued, “Wrestling TJP did a lot for me, he’s one of the best technical wrestlers around. So, people who never knew me before got to know me. Since then, I have been a mainstay on the NJPW Strong show and have been feuding with Rocky Romero.”
Soon enough, Limelight wrestled for AEW, NJPW, CWFH and Primetime Live in the same week and that’s when he knew he could be a star in the business. On last week’s episode of AEW Dynamite, he teamed up with Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison to face Kenny Omega and The Good Brothers in a six-man match. “When I got that call from AEW, I was like, ‘holy s--t, this was something else.’ I can do both AEW and NJPW right now? Wow.”
Limelight then delved into how he got his initial invite from AEW last October. “I got invited to AEW Dark and it kind happened out of nowhere, right around the time I made my NJPW debut,” he recalls.
He continued, “Initially, I e-mailed Christopher Daniels, the AEW’s Head of Talent Relations. I introduced myself. He told me I was on their radar and to put my stuff on the cloud. Said he’ll let me know if anything comes up.”
Limelight kept grinding with NJPW and GCW until he was contacted by AEW agent QT Marshall.
“I flew out there, debuted in 6-man tag match against Jurassic Express. That was fun because I had previously trained with Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus. It was mostly those two, John Morrison, and Pentagon… we sometimes meet up at a gymnastics Olympia or a park to try out cool new things.”
“It was cool to make debut, well received by fans. After that second tag match, I started getting singles matches. Opened a lot more eyes. Lot of see people saw my work in NJPW. Consistently working hard. Since debut have missed only 2 Dark episodes. Always there. Feels great to be recognized.”
You can follow Danny on Twitter @DannyLimeLight. Limelight’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.